Used to be called statistical analysis, or business analysis, or maintenance analysis.
There are two basic approaches, or questions that CEOs and managers are going to ask of analytics. The first deals with past and present, the second deals with the future.
For the first, the question is, "What have we been doing right or wrong in the past and present?" You have to select the area you want to measure, you have to collect the appropriate data over time. You have to select the correct statistical tools for analysis. And you have to present that analysis, conclusions, and recommendations in a way that managers can understand. I've had managers order me to collect comparison data on things that I had proved had no relationship to each other for years just for them to be able to say they were analyzing it. Sometimes those orders were based on government requirements. (Small wonder I have such a low opinion of government regulation and enforcement.) Past and present analysis is therefore a Quality Assurance and Maintenance function.
The second question set deals with predictions of the future. You still need past data; but you do trending to find a mathematical model that allows you to make as accurate an estimate as possible of what's going to happen. Quality improves, stocks go up, bottom line fails, we lose experience to competitors as such and such a rate, etc. That's were we all hope the guy or gal in the hot seat makes the right choices.
Grace Simrall is missing two critical elements in her course list: class(es) on Logic, and class(es) on Ethics.
Keep Up with TechRepublic